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The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester

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About the Author

Barbara O'Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia; Me and Rupert Goody; Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents' Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.


"O'Connor has perfect pitch with this comic adventure, which ends with a happy resolution everyone, even the frog, can live with." --New York Times Book Review "O'Connor masterfully twists the two plot threads--Owen's gradual realization that Tooley must be released, and the children's Fitzcarraldo-like mission to move the submarine through brush to pond--into a fully convincing tale pitched perfectly to the upper elementary grades." --BCCB, STARRED review "This well-crafted novel creates a charming mix of the commonplace and the extraordinary...Appealing and authentic, this tale of summertime adventure will be a hit with readers year round." --School Library Journal, STARRED review "O'Connor has spun a lovely read that perfectly captures the schemes and plans of school-age kids in the long days of summer." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review "With a quiet sensitivity, O'Connor explores the effects of unemployment and relocating and the joys of both longtime companions and new, unexpected friendships. Filled with charm and wonder, this finely crafted novel reminds readers of the mysteries to be found in childhood and the outdoors." --BookPage ..".the story is smoothly written, the secret is ingenious and believable, and who can resist a frog named Tooley Graham?" --Booklist "O'Connor's funny, triumphant tale reveals the wisdom of listening to one's inner voice over the noise of one's peers." --Publishers Weekly "Elvis and Popeye's journey reminds readers to look for and enjoy the small treasures in their lives. Save a spot on your shelves for this small adventure with a grand heart." --School Library Journal, starred review on THE SMALL ADVENTURE OF POPEYE AND ELVIS "With humor and authenticity, this beguiling tale of summer friendship mines the small, jewel like adventures of a rural childhood." --Publishers Weekly, starred review on on THE SMALL ADVENTURE OF POPEYE AND ELVIS "Fast-paced, short and easy to read . . . and abounding with quirky, likable characters, this small gem has the power to keep readers entranced." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review on on THE SMALL ADVENTURE OF POPEYE AND ELVIS

Gr 4-7-Owen Jester believes his summer is off to a great start when he captures the biggest, best bullfrog in Carter, GA. He names it Tooley Graham and builds a cage for it in his bedroom. When Tooley starts to look a bit sick, Owen's know-it-all neighbor, Viola, insists that he put the frog back into the pond or it will die. One night, Owen hears something fall off a train passing the tracks in the woods behind his house. The boy and his two friends discover a two-person submarine known as a Water Wonder 4000 hidden in the brush. Owen tries to keep this fantastic secret hidden from his family, and especially from nosey Viola, at least until he can take the sub for a ride. But when Viola discovers the secret, Owen must include her in the plans. Barbara O'Connor's entertaining, sometimes humorous summer adventure (Farrar, 2010) about friendship and discovery is narrated by Noah Galvin. He does a superb job of creating unique voices for each character, making this a fantastic listening adventure.-Amy Joslyn, Fairport Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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